The AACR Philadelphia Marathon was this past weekend. They did a lot of things right – growing participation by about 15%. One of the little things they did was have two apps for tracking runners – RaceJoy and Xact.
Bob was tracking a couple of people who were trying to get BQ’s (both were shooting for 3:00 – one made it and the other guy’s hamstring blew up 😦 ). Neither were the type to run with a phone, so RaceJoy did not work well for them. The Xact TXT notification service was great to get a feel for how they were doing. Unfortunately the last update was 30K and Bob’s friend’s hamstring went after that.
I’m not sure how many TXT notifications were sent via the Xact app, but there were a lot! Getting accurate splits is a great benefit for a lot of people, and having a final official time is what every participant really wants. This is increasingly popular. For example, a few days before Thanksgiving, there are over 129,000 TXT alerts scheduled to be sent on Thanksgiving morning using the free RaceDay Results and Notification service.
While notifications are great, RaceJoy adds another dimension. Of course real-time tracking is cool to see the blue dot moving (and to find each other after the race), but the mile splits are really useful. If Bob’s friend had worn a phone (or in 2019 an Apple Watch with Cell Service), Bob would have known something bad had happened with the mile splits.
RaceJoy also brings a real level of interaction between participants and spectators. Here is a Thank You email we got after the race this Sunday:
I used your app for the 2nd time this weekend at the Philadelphia Marathon. My friends and family tracked me and sent me tons of songs, cheers, and texted cheers. They came when I really needed and were the perfect addition to my race experience. I love this app and told the runners around me- “that’s my friends and family sending me cheers! Even a friend in Switzerland!” I will share the word, your app ROCKS!!!! It made the race so interactive and fun.
And she was not alone. Over 23,000 (6,000 participants and 17,000 spectators) people used RaceJoy this weekend. 371,000 Progress Alerts were sent along with over 41,000 cheers.
This combination of Gun, Chip and GPS data is our strategy for a great RaceDay experience. Combined with free Photos, Video, and Race Websites it creates a powerful platform for races and timers.